116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The newest elementary school in the Cedar Rapids Community School District — opening fall 2024 — will be named Trailside Elementary School.
Trailside Elementary, under construction at 2630 B Ave. NE, will replace Arthur and Garfield elementary schools as part of the district’s facility master plan. The name was unanimously approved Monday by the Cedar Rapids school board.
Arthur Elementary Principal Jennifer Nurre and Garfield Elementary Principal Joy Long visited each classroom in their schools to get student input on the name. They read a book called “Alma and How She Got Her Name” by Juana Martinez-Neal. It’s a story about a little girl who wonders why her name is so long and learns the special meaning behind each one of her names.
“The children were very creative,” Nurre said. One student wanted to name the school “after their grandma because she makes good cookies.”
“Their reasons were all so cute. It was fun to read the submissions and why the name was important to them. A delightful experience,” Nurre said.
There were 80 student and staff submissions and 16 submissions from the community. The list was narrowed to six names. Staff at Arthur and Garfield elementary schools voted on the final six to come up with Trailside Elementary.
A majority of community responses suggested the school be named after Superintendent Noreen Bush, who died in October. She was diagnosed with cancer more than two years ago. But before she died, Bush and her family requested buildings not be named in her honor, Nurre said.
The plan does not include demolishing Arthur Elementary, 2630 B Ave. NE, and Garfield Elementary, 1201 Maplewood Dr. NE, which will be repurposed with community input.
Harrison and Madison elementary school attendance zones will be combined by fall 2025. District officials still are considering two options for how to do this: renovate the Harrison Elementary building, 1310 11th St. NW, or build on the property of Madison Elementary, 1341 Woodside Dr. NW.
A 2018 facilities master plan included building 10 elementary schools and renovating three over the next 15 to 20 years in the Cedar Rapids district. This process included the closure and repurposing of eight schools.
As part of this plan, the Cedar Rapids district built and opened West Willow Elementary School in August 2021, which replaced Coolidge Elementary. Maple Grove Elementary opened in August 2022 to replace Jackson Elementary.
Each new elementary school will serve between 500 to 600 students. Right now, elementary schools vary in student population, serving between 200 to 500 students, creating an inequitable distribution of resources.
Improvements to Cedar Rapids elementary schools is being funded by Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE), a statewide school infrastructure sales and services tax.
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